Quilting Terms: Characteristics of a Contemporary / Modern Quilt
Modern quilts are hard to define because there are actually two types of quilts I think of when I think of modern quilts. One category is named for a particular time period, and one for a particular style of quilt. Modern means new or recent, so any quilts that are made recently, say this century, would be considered modern quilts. I like to call these contemporary quilts to distinguish them from the modern style of quilts. I will write another hub to discuss contemporary quilts in the future. This hub is about the modern style of quilts.
There are some quilts that are recently made that are easy to spot, but simply fall under the modern category. They don't seem to have their own category, and I think they deserve one. A modern quilt is very easy to spot, but it is hard to define. Not all modern quilts will fit this definition, but I hope that my definition comes close.
Modern Quilts on Amazon
What features do modern quilts have that sets them apart from other quilts?
A modern quilt tends to have the following characteristics:
- simple designs made with simple shapes such as squares, rectangles and half square triangles
- simple quilting designs
- coordinated fabrics
- clear crisp colors with a lot of white
- attention to detail and well executed
- open space
- frequent use of solids
Most modern quilters tend to also be very competent in photography, and are able to present their quilt with beautiful photographic imagery.
These modern quilts are patchwork quilts that use simple patterns and simple quilting designs, and are beautifully made to look very sophisticated. Even though they are simple, they do not look like beginner or charity quilts. Modern quilters pay attention to detail, to render their quilt to the best of their ability. They trim the half square triangles to make them the exact size for sewing. They put their blocks and shapes on a design wall, and arrange and rearrange them until they are satisfied with the layout. They pay attention to balance and color and aesthetic appeal. They are careful with their sewing, and will take the time to correct any errors. They will choose a simple quilting design that goes well with the quilt and execute it superbly. Then they will take photographs and present their quilt on their blog. These photographs will also be beautifully executed, with wonderful lighting and great props and Photoshopped to present the quilt in the best light.
Modern quilts also tend to focus on fabrics. Most modern quilts contain a great deal of white. The colors chosen for the patchwork quilt are clear, bright colors. Paisley, stripes, and stylized flowers, and the like are often chosen. The combination of fabrics in the quilt is well coordinated. The colors match. You are not likely to find humble patches, where a piece of fabric was patched together to make a block, or fabric that had been added because the quilter had run out. Modern quilters will either purchase sufficient fabric for their quilt, or order more of the same fabric if they run out. If they do make a substitution, it will be very close to the original fabric and it will not be obvious that a substitution has been made.
Some Modern Quilters
Some quilters who make modern quilts are listed below:
Alissa Haight Carlton - checkout the QuiltCon information for February 2012 in Texas
Bill Kerr and Weeks Ringle - subscribe to Modern Quilts Illustrated Magazine
Modern quilts add a beautiful clean feel and would go well with any décor. Because they use simple shapes, they are the easiest patchwork quilts to make. And because they are executed well, you can perfect your sewing and quilting abilities and let them shine.